Tuesday, March 19, 2019

cherry docs | first read

This Monday, we gathered for the first read of CHERRY DOCS by David Gow, the second production from guest producers Cave Canem Productions after last season's smash hit THE LONESOME WEST. This high-stakes drama tackles the story of a Neo-Nazi skinhead and the Jewish lawyer tasked with defending him. Here are a few snaps from the read!

Monday, March 18, 2019

apprentice spotlight | linnea perry

Linnea is an administrative apprentice who has brought her stage management skills to our stage twice so far this season, and has been running our group sales. She's also been the incomparable producer for the whole Stone's Throw Season!

What drew you to the apprenticeship in the first place?

I first heard about it from Eleanor Felton who I was working with on STILL THE KETTLE SINGS [a devised piece that rented PT as a venue]. That was kind of my first introduction to PT as a whole. Then I was waffling back and forth during my final semester of university on what I wanted to do, and Julia Lank [PT’s publicist] had mentioned that Eleanor had loved the apprenticeship. I also knew some other people who had done it- they were very encouraging and said that they got a lot out of it. Coming right out of university and feeling like “I don’t know what I want to do, but I want to work in my industry”- this was a good gateway between those worlds.

Have you tried anything new this year you’d like to keep exploring?

Administration! Getting to finally see the admin side of theatre which isn’t something you have access to in school has been amazing. Getting to see how finances work, what a box office runs like – these are things that are hard to access in a theatre school environment which is focussed on the practical aspects of creating theatre as opposed to the managerial side of things. Getting to know those aspects is one of the big reasons I came here.

The apprenticeship typically culminates in a final, fully produced show. What are you taking on for your final project?

I am directing--in collaboration with my ensemble--a devised version of AGAMEMNON which will be some combination of Baz Luhrmann’s ROMEO AND JULIET meets German arthouse film. Those are two things I’m going in with at this point!

Any words of advice for an incoming apprentice?

Be willing to be independent. It will be much more fun if you are willing to go off and just do something. Be open to just throwing yourself in.

What are you working on after the apprenticeship?

Looking for admin opportunities! Companies in the city, please hire me!

Keep an eye on the Stone's Throw Facebook and Instagram accounts for more updates about AGAMEMNON and the other final apprentice projects! And don't forget, we've extended our deadline to March 31, so there's still time to apply to the apprenticeship for next season.

Friday, March 15, 2019

apprentice spotlight | kira fondse

Kira is an acting apprentice originally from Winnipeg. She comes to us with piles of musical theatre and opera training, and we're so happy she chose to relocate to Vancouver!

What drew you to the apprenticeship in the first place?

I had toured a show across Canada a while back, and that opportunity made me realize that I wanted to learn more about theatre. Up until that point, most of my performance experience involved musical theatre and opera, but I wanted to explore the realm of straight theatre as well. I began to realized its potential to start conversations and ask questions, and I hadn’t really thought about it in that way before.

I was finishing up my university degree and I thought I’d look for some kind of theatre mentorship or apprenticeship after that. I was also hoping to find one that had a faith-based component and community.

During an evening of searching for opportunities, good ol' Google led me to finding Pacific Theatre's apprenticeship program, and it seemed as though there wasn't anything quite like it anywhere else in Canada.

I had never heard of PT before then!

Had you been to Vancouver before?

My uncle lives here and in that show tour our last stops were in Vancouver and Victoria. It was funny, that summer I thought “When am I ever going to be back here again?” Less than a year later, here I was.

Kira sings her heart out at the Stone's Throw Christmas Fundraiser HARK!

Have you tried anything new this year you’d like to keep exploring?

I’ve tried a lot of new things like assistant stage management- it was a good experience and I learned a lot. I’d never understudied before which was a good challenge for me, and very applicable! (Kira was an understudy and stepped in for a performance of A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY this spring!)

Producing – I’d like to do more producing and I’d never tackled that before!

I wouldn't mind continuing with some box office and front of house work-I’ve really enjoyed it thus far!

The apprenticeship typically culminates in a final, fully produced show. What are you taking on for your final project?

I’m producing and acting in the play WE ARE THE BODY by Canadian playwright Andrew Kooman. It’s a story that speaks to the persecution of people for who they are or what they believe. Unfortunately this is something that is all-too common today, and which people all over the world can relate to. Part of the reason I wanted to do this apprenticeship was to learn how to give a voice to those who have been silenced, and I think this show fulfills that objective in a very real way.

Any words of advice for an incoming apprentice?

Be at PT as much as possible and be open to trying anything! You may surprise yourself when learning what roles and tasks you like and don’t like, and what you're good and not-so-good at. There’s so much to learn during your time here.

Also, don’t stress at the beginning when it feels like you’re overwhelmed and don’t have anything figured out. It will come, just give it time and don't hesitate to ask for help.

What are you working on after the apprenticeship?

I want to continue performing, producing, teaching, learning, and finding ways to tell stories and start conversations.

Keep an eye on the Stone's Throw Facebook and Instagram accounts for more updates about WE ARE THE BODY and the other final apprentice projects! And don't forget, there's still time to apply to the apprenticeship for next season.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

apprentice spotlight | rick colhoun

Rick may be familiar to you from his previous work with PT as a sound designer or as CHRISTMAS PRESENCE musical grandmaster. This year he's been digging into directing, script adaptation, and more design!

What drew you to the apprenticeship in the first place?

Just wanting to make more art, wanting to do theatre more seriously. I wanted to take the opportunity to direct. Would I have done it without the apprenticeship? Maybe, but doing the program guaranteed that I would.

Have you tried anything new this year you’d like to keep exploring?

I did my first scene study as an actor and that was fun! I don’t think I’m going to be an actor but it was very useful. As a director, it was very helpful to learn the process of an actor, and more of the language to talk to actors with.

The apprenticeship typically culminates in a final, fully produced show. What are you taking on for your final project?

I’m directing a show called MEMORY HOUSE by Kathleen Tolan. I read a lot of scripts this year and was very concerned that I pick something that would be a good acting challenge, and tell a good story, without being too ambitious or not ambitious enough.

Any words of advice for an incoming apprentice?

Just do it! And take every opportunity to do everything. It goes by so fast. We got to do a “Vocation of the Artist” class with Ron, the scene study, adapting a script, sitting in on rehearsals . . . really there aren’t any limits. It’s just up to you to take every opportunity you get and just say yes a lot.

What are you working on after the apprenticeship?

Applying to all the other apprenticeships in the world! No, I plan to continue making art and creating. I’ll probably go back to the studio and get back to making some records. I want to figure out how to make directing happen, push my sound design and composing even further. I’ve been composing sound cues instead of dropping in ready-made things for the past few shows I’ve worked on. The time to work on things like that was also helped by doing this apprenticeship.

Keep an eye on the Stone's Throw Facebook and Instagram accounts for more updates about MEMORY HOUSE and the other final apprentice projects! And don't forget, there's still time to apply to the apprenticeship for next season.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

apprentice spotlight | shelby wyminga

Shelby is an acting apprentice who's also branched out into playwriting this year. We're thrilled to have this multi-talented powerhouse in the apprenticeship!

What drew you to the apprenticeship in the first place?

I went to Trinity Western and TWU is pretty linked to PT, so I’ve always known about the apprenticeship from that connection. When I graduated, I applied right away because I thought it would be a good transition point between training and being loose in the big scary world. I didn’t get it at that point, so I was loose in the big scary world!

I reapplied this season because I had specific skills I realized I wanted to develop, mostly around producing and being able to create my own work. I came in with the goal of learning how to be more self-sufficient as an artist, and also wanting to have a theatre family that I can be connected to, so I’m not awash in a sea of vastness!

Shelby's first apprentice project was a staged reading of her new script A HERO FOR NOW.

Have you tried anything new this year you’d like to keep exploring?

First would be the producing side of things. I had a bit of experience but I’ve been digging in to that with more detail and that’s something I see myself continuing.

Assistant directing THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE was really cool. When I first started school, I was interested in directing, took a class and felt it wasn’t for me, but getting to play a bit under Sarah’s direction has made me interested again. I’m going to direct Kira and Julia in a Shakespeare scene study so I can further play with that.

The apprenticeship typically culminates in a final, fully produced show. What are you taking on for your final project?

I really really wanted to do something that would scare the shit out of me. So I picked something that I knew I’d never be cast in. I decided I wanted to play Henry V so I’m producing a version of it with an almost entirely female ensemble.

My challenge with this, which was a bit unexpected, is that I’ve been learning to take up space. I’ve always considered myself to be a fairly outspoken and confident person, but as women, so often we’re taught to apologize for our opinions and for taking that place in the spotlight. It’s easy for us to be labelled as divas.

I’m lucky because I’ve been working with Kerri Norris who’s a crazy strong woman, and she’s been cracking down every time she sees me doubting myself. I’ve been learning how to own my opinions and desires.

Exploring that has been really cool: seeing myself as a leader and sometimes forcing myself to see myself as a leader, even when I don’t feel particularly confident to go in and own a room and be really unapologetic.

Shelby was last seen on the PT stage in Ensemble Theatre Company's guest production A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY.

Any words of advice for an incoming apprentice?

Get your expectations straight. You can get a lot out of the program, but you need to know what to expect so that you can make the most of it.

What are you working on after the apprenticeship?

My sister and I are forming a theatre company called Far From the Tree Productions. We want to produce theatre that is really stripped down, getting back to the basics of story, and real and raw human characters. We’re playing with some philosophies of minimalism in our work. Also work that’s environmentally friendly, sustainable, and doesn’t rely on a lot of the gack that people often think they need to put on a good show.

And I’m hoping to keep working with PT!

Keep an eye on the Stone's Throw Facebook and Instagram accounts for more updates about HENRY V and the other final apprentice projects! And don't forget, there's still time to apply to the apprenticeship for next season.

jesus freak | responses

"At the conclusion of the production, the applause was prolonged; lively discussions began immediately. Under the direction of Morris Ertman, Pacific Theatre has, once again, provided patrons with 'theatre that matters'.
- Judy Robb, My Van City

"Kaitlin Williams and Katharine Venour deliver persuasive and grounded performances as Clara and Susan. [...] Williams’s portrait of Clara is by far the strongest work I’ve seen from her. [...] She is consistently raw, honest, and understated.
“. . . Brian Ball’s set is a kind of miracle: by angling the deck of the family’s cottage to create a kind of forced perspective, it makes the cramped Pacific Theatre stage look spacious. The cottage’s smoky panelling and circular window could have been lifted straight from Salt Spring Island.”
-Colin Thomas

"Kaitlin Williams offers a nuanced performance as the conflicted Clara. [...] Director Morris Ertman wisely allows the actors to convey the spirit of Peter Boychuk’s contentious narrative.”
- John Jane, reviewvancouver

“There is some fine work being done [on] stage. [...]Ron Reed’s transformation from headstrong scientist to sensitive father is heartfelt.”
Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

"Thank god for mothers like Susan Campbell in Peter Boychuk’s new play, Jesus Freak. And thank goodness for actors like Katharine Venour who brings this one to life on the stage. [...] It’s a courageous little play that dares to take on all the commonplace assumptions and misconceptions."
-Jo Ledingham

Monday, February 25, 2019

jesus freak | meet the crew

It's the day of our final dress rehearsal, and we're almost ready to bring you into the world of this brand-new play! We've had a talented production team working away to bring the world of JESUS FREAK to life. Keep reading to get to know a little bit about them and their connection to this project!

Morris Ertman- Director

"This play is for our time. We're so fragmented and defensive that we've lost sight of one another. I think the quote from a Sting song sums up my feeling about the play: 'I hope the Russians (Christians, Secularists) love their children too.'"

Jillian White - Lighting Designer

"Creating 'natural' light is one of my favourite things to do in theatre, second only to magic. People don't realise how much variation there is in quality and colour of 'white' light. I'm very excited for the setting of this show - the deck of a family cabin in the BC wilderness - and what I can do with it."

Brian Ball - Set Designer

This is Brian's first design for our unique space, and we're so happy to have him on this project!

Jessica Oostergo - Costume Designer

Jessica is excited that this show "explores the positive and negative effects of religion on different types of people."

Rick Colhoun - Sound Designer

Rick is a current season apprentice, and is adding directing to his list of skills, along with his usual sound design.

Props Master - Ariel Slack

For this show, Ariel's been hard at work creating stage-friendly versions of fancy wine, eggplant pizza, healthy green smoothies, and more!

Samantha Pawluik - Stage Manager

As Stage Manager, Samantha has been working tirelessly since before rehearsals began, steering the whole process from inside the rehearsal hall.

Kira Fondse - Assistant Stage Manager

"[JESUS FREAK] closely reflects the families and/or situations of many of my friends. It also brings up discussions and asks questions that are current, relevant, and need to be addressed, rather than brushing them under the table. I hope this play will foster closer relationships between people of different opinions through the encouragement of conversation . . . . People begin to heal when others start to listen."

jesus freak | meet the cast

The cast of JESUS FREAK are all familiar faces to PT audiences. In a play centred on family, it's fitting that members of the PT artistic family have gathered together to play the Campbells!

Ron Reed (Alan) is PT's Artistic Director and was last seen onstage here stepping into the role of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Katharine Venour (Susan) served for many years as an Artistic Advisor to the PT Board, and most recently at PT played the role of Vivian Bearing in WIT.

Kaitlin Williams (Clara) has expanded her repertoire into the world of directing and most recently directed the sold-out run of KIM'S CONVENIENCE, which opened this season. Her most recent PT role was Kay in CORLEONE: THE SHAKESPEAREAN GODFATHER.

Brandon Bate (Nate) last performed here alongside Katharine in WIT. He's also part of Cave Canem Productions, which will be bringing the next show in our season to life: CHERRY DOCS by David Gow.

Brandon shared with us a little about his personal connection to this play: "I've been a Christian my whole life. I resonate with the characters' struggle of trying to get along with people and remain peaceful, while still asking for respect and dignity. It's a difficult balance of speaking up for what you believe, while still choosing to listen first and let others express themselves without getting threatened or defensive."

Thursday, February 21, 2019

jesus freak | promo photos

We're just a week away from the preview performance of JESUS FREAK. We can't wait to bring this brand-new play to all of you! Here are some fantastic promo photos from Emily Cooper, featuring Brian Ball's gorgeous, Emily Carr inspired set (in progress)!